Sheffield Doc/Fest is proud to be partnering with Sheffield Hallam University in our Future Film Programmers project. A selection of students will be working with our Festival Director, Cíntia Gil to put together a film programme to be showcased next year during the Talking About Our Generation festival in partnership with Ignite Imaginations. 

The five participating students, featured below have outlined their vision for the programme: 

‘Everyday Underrepresented and Underappreciated Artists’

Once we were given our placement brief by Doc/Fest Director Cíntia Gil, we started working on our programme. First, we we all worked individually to generate our own themes. We each thoroughly researched our own themes and curated small programmes of documentaries to share with each other and get feedback. We then brought our individual ideas and programmes together into one main theme: ‘Everyday Underrepresented and Underappreciated Artists.’ This theme has been revised multiple times through the curation process as we worked to include documentaries and topics that fit under the umbrella of an overarching theme, which ties all of our ideas together. 

The theme focuses on artists whose stories aren’t widely known. Although their art is as valid and deserving of acclaim as famous mainstream artists, for numerous reasons these artists haven’t broken into the mainstream or achieved ‘success’ at all. Through our carefully curated programme, we can enlighten audiences by introducing them to artists who have been working for years without a massive following or the critical acclaim they deserve. We believe every artist deserves an opportunity to be in the spotlight, and we hope to bring attention to a group of people whose art hasn’t been appreciated in their everyday lives. We aim to retroactively give artists the recognition that they haven’t had throughout their careers and to give our audience the experience of being exposed to new creatives they possibly haven’t heard of (who we hope can become some of their new favourites).

‘Everyday Underrepresented and Underappreciated Artists’ gives us a solid core to our programme and also leaves room for the exploration of other themes that intersect with our main idea. The artists we are focusing on are all underrepresented, but their stories also touch on other important and contemporary issues, including mental health and the role it plays in the artistic process; and the marginalisation of minority artists and the effects posthumous appreciation can have in an artist’s legacy. This allows us to spark several diverse and interesting conversations on a range of pressing social issues beneath the umbrella of ‘Everyday Underrepresented and Underappreciated Artists’. 

As documentary film programmers we have the responsibility to curate an appropriate and engaging experience for our audiences and, through this theme, we aim to do just that! As film students we’re passionate about film and the artistic process and we hope our passion for these underappreciated artists translates to our audience through our programme.


Amber Allport
BA Film Studies. Year Two. Sheffield Hallam University.

"I am excited to be working with Doc/Fest because I am passionate about documentary film! To me, a documentary’s purpose is to educate and entertain an audience, and one thing I love about documentary is how the information is delivered to the audience, as it can be portrayed as creatively or a simple as the filmmaker wants."


Fraser Gray
BA Film Studies. Year Two. Sheffield Hallam University.

"I really enjoy being on the Doc/Fest Programmer placement because I get to learn through doing work and watching documentaries. It's a lot of fun and a real eye-opener in learning how film festivals are programmed. It's an experience that will prove invaluable to me for a career in the industry."

Isaac Holmes
BA Film Studies. Year Two. Sheffield Hallam University.

"Working on the Doc/Fest Future Programmers placement is really great. It has enabled me to get hands-on programming experience with a large festival while exposing me to great documentaries and new creative ways of thinking."

Ben Matthews
BA Film Studies. Year Two. Sheffield Hallam University.

"What I find rewarding about the Doc/Fest Future Film Programmers placement is the ability to explore a wide range of films covering important people who many (myself included) haven't heard of before, and introduce them to my follower programmers and our audience. I like the idea that audiences who watch the documentaries could find something in them that will stay with them for life."


Aidan Whitehead
BA Film Studies. Year Two.  Sheffield Hallam University

"Working with Doc/Fest has been an incredibly fun and interesting experience. The knowledge of the industry that I’ve developed over these past few months is something I would not have been able to get anywhere else."